Address: Site vacant, 2009. Same site as 23 Shepard Avenue
Old Address: 25 Helen Street
Other names: Botsford Cottage (1911), Crowe Cottage (1928), Cosgrove Cottage (1933), Sanzo Cottage (1954-1955); DIS
Year built: 1908 or earlier (Sanborn maps)
"Cottage Calls," The Guild News, February 1941
Each has a different home-town, each a different profession, different hobby, different interest. None knew the other prior to coming to Saranac Lake. They have in common their tuberculosis, and, because they are patients under one roof at 25 Helen Street, the desire to get along together, and make their residence here as pleasant as possible. They are good friends. The atmosphere is as informal as a college dormitory. conversation runs the gamut of their various interests and experiences. they talk and read and cultivate their hobbies. They're loyal to Saranac Lake, and to their doctors and to their landlady. They say everything is fine, and that "taking the cure" isn't the hardship it's cracked up to be. Their names are Thomas Roy Newell, Curtis Brubaker, William Katzen, James Galange, John Longe, and Roy Grinnell.
Mr. Newell, whose friends call him by his middle name, Roy, comes from a small fishing village about 60 miles from St. John's, Newfoundland. His experience with tuberculosis has been a long one, starting when he was in his late teens. He was then teaching in Labrador to earn enough money for the college education he wanted. His life since then has been a long succession of hospitals and resorts, including the Grenfell Hospital at St. Anthony, Newfoundland, Johns Hopkins Hospital and others. He came here in April, 1939. His hobby, which also yields him a small income, is wood-carving, which he learned to do 15 years ago at Grenfell Hospital. He buys basswood boxes, suitable for cigarettes, handkerchiefs and the like, and with two simple instruments, a pocket knife and a small chisel, carves geometric designs or designs of ships, birds, or other figures upon them. His work is lovely, and he has no difficulty marketing it, principally through the Dog Team Tavern in Middlebury, Vt. Working with his hands, he says, has been a kind of salvation through the many years of his illness.
Mr. Brubaker is the old-timer of the six. He came to Saranac Lake 20 years ago from New York where he was a mechanical engineer with the U.S. Railroad Administration. His home originally was in Altoona, Pa. To amuse himself, he started writing five years ago. He has done short stories, articles, and a full-length book, the latter about Saranac Lake, its oddities and foibles. He has entitled it "Tuberculosis Delights," and he plans to bring it up to date and market it if possible. He has sold stories to several of the confession magazines, the "Railroad Magazine," and recently completed an article on Saranac Lake for "Writer's Digest," which, complete with pictures, presents this village as the ideal place for writers to live, now that life abroad has become impossible for them. He recently joined the professional writing class at the Guild.
Mr. Katzen, an account of whose gadget inventions appears in another column of this issue of The Guild News, is a New Yorker, whose home he says was at the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street. An engineer who installed sound apparatus for Manhattan night clubs, he was on call day and night, and frequently after midnight was busy making repairs so "the show could go on." In Saranac Lake four years, he has no desire to go back to his hectic life in new York. He prefers to "Live normally from now on."
Mr. Galange, who came here in 1937, is an Albanian by birth. He entered the U.S. in 1916, just in time to get into the war for Uncle Sam. He owns a restaurant business in New York.
Mr. Longe is of Polish descent, though born in the U. S. A. He comes from Syracuse, and has worked for the Senate Solvay and Crucible Steel companies. Neither he nor Mr. Galange has a hobby, they say. They read and keep abreast of the times, and take their place in the life of the cottage.
As to Mr. Grinnell--"He's no patient, he just lives here," Mr. Brubaker laughingly remarked. That was in tribute to Mr. Grinnell's excellent recovery which has made it possible for him for some years to work at the Saranac and Trudeau Laboratories. He lives at 25 Helen Street, true enough, but naturally, they say, he is not so much of the closely knit life of the cottage as the others are. Mr. Grinnell came here six years ago, and was studying for the ministry at the time of his break-down. His home is near Glens Falls, N.Y. Though they don't see much of him, he offers the hope that every patient has, that soon he, too, will be back on the job.